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news | January 20, 2014 | Côte d'Ivoire | Rehabilitation

Cleaning and dancing

Mobilization for street cleaning

Since January, ACTED has been working to improve sanitary conditions in three vulnerable neighbourhoods in the Abobo and Yopougon communes of Abidjan.

It is not yet 7am. And yet, certain roads of the Kennedy Clouetcha neighbourhood are already crowded with people. This morning, laughter and shouts can be heard and there is a festive feeling in the air. A mobile music band with rhythmic drums follows a man with a megaphone, encouraging people to come out of their homes. When a passer by asks him what is going on, Bazoumana replies: “It’s cleaning day!” Everyone is busy sweeping, picking up, scrubbing and washing to the rhythm of percussions and the sounds of the trumpet.

People from this vulnerable neighbourhood of Abidjan live in extremely precarious sanitary conditions. They do not have a good sanitary system and often are not well informed on good hygiene practices. To help improve the conditions these people live in, ACTED has set up a sanitary project in their neighbourhoods. The project involves building latrines, a drainage network and setting up a company to process organic waste. ACTED activities, realized in partnership with the Intergovernmental Panafrican Agency of Water and sanitation for Africa and with the support of Europe Aid will also include raising awareness and trainings on good hygiene practices.

The community united for a cleaner neighbourhood

The first cleanliness day organised in Kenendy Clouetcha mobilised the community to achieve one common objective: to clean the neighbourhood. Members of the hygiene and sanitary committee of the neighbourhood, which ACTED supports, were the mediators of the day, motivating everyone and sometimes even scolding those who simply stood and watched.

Adama, a participant, covered in sweat after several hours of work, but still with a smile on her face, declared: “I didn’t want to just clean in front of my house or in my street. Our entire community must unite to improve the conditions we live in and those of our children! I am really proud of us today!”

There is of course still a lot of work to do to improve the sanitary conditions of the roads of Kennedy Clouetcha. Nevertheless, this day mobilised the community and rose awareness. This was demonstrated by Adama telling off a child who had carelessly thrown a tissue onto the street.

Click here for more on ACTED's activities in Ivory Coast.